March 12, 2004
TRMPAC roundup

All sorts of stuff for your perusal regarding the many interesting activities of Tom DeLay and his band of acolytes. First up is this Salon piece which look at the TRMPAC grand jury investigation and predicts that indictments will be handed down shortly. Get yourself a day pass or sit through the ad if you're not a Premium subscriber and check it out.

Next is this Texas Observer story, which connects the dots between a campaign fundraising tour by Susan Lilly (the consultant who has already admitted to being paid with corporate funds) and Houston Rep. Beverly Woolley, and legislation that got passed last spring which was greatly beneficial to the sources they tapped. Be sure to check out the itinerary and the notes they scribbled about what their benefactors wanted.

Also of interest in that story is this bit about a visit to Charles Hurwitz of Maxxam, who also owns Sam Houston Racetrack Park and has been agitating for an expansion of legalized gambling that would benefit his business.

In a rare defeat for a TRMPAC sugar daddy, efforts in the 78th Texas Legislature to allow video poker at racetracks were introduced with much fanfare and then failed to go anywhere. Interestingly enough, today, as the GOP leadership casts about for a way out of the stateís school finance crisis, gambling is looking ever more alluring. (One strong proponent of legalizing some gambling to pay for public education is Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn, who received $50,000 from the Maxxam political action committee in 2003. As recently as January, the comptroller expressed her views on the subject at the Texas Thoroughbred Associationís annual meeting and awards banquet held at Hurwitzís Sam Houston Race Park.)

I can just see Rick Perry accusing Carole Keeton Strayhorn of being in the clutches of corporate special interests in the 2006 Governor's race. My irony-o-meter is already pegged.

Finally, the Travis County DA's office has subpoenaed records pertaining to previous speaker's races from Pete Laney and Edmund Kuempel. Speaker Tom Craddick's defense team has been floating the "everyone else did it!" argument for his fundraising and disbursing activities, so the DA is looking at what these guys did to see if there's any merit to that. As always, stay tuned. Latter three links via the Quorum Report.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 12, 2004 to Scandalized! | TrackBack

The racetrack owners here in Ohio tried to get slots last year. Except it was the Republicans who helped kill it. No one want to try anything else in order to pay for schools in this state. All they want to do is raise property tax.

Posted by: sean on March 12, 2004 1:42 PM